Sunday, January 08, 2012

Liz Fielding's Little Book of Writing Romance

Some of you may have noticed the "Coming Soon" title on the sidebar of my blog. Not quite as "soon" as I'd hoped, alas.
I was planning to launch Liz Fielding's Little Book of Writing Romance as the New Year dawned - to go with all those New Year resolutions - but I'm beginning to discover the frustrations of being a publisher.
It's not all done once the author has written The End.
It is, however, getting closer.
Tomorrow I should have the production proofs and, hopefully, if all is well, it won't be long after that before the book will be downloaded onto eBook platforms and available for download to your eBook, phone, iPad or PC.
So, what it is?
My Little Book of Writing Romance is, basically, a primer. A beginner's book of writing romance. The book I wish I'd had when I was a new, know-nothing writer hoping to be published by Mills and Boon.
There were very few books about how-to write back then. There was no internet where you could go for advice, no opportunity to chat to authors, take a class. (Now I'm sounding like the Ancient Novelist, but honestly, it wasn't that long ago!)
When I first put pen to paper (and it was a real pen and real paper) and wrote the first books that were rejected, I was on my own.
I wrote three whole books — every word of 55,000 words — before I picked up on the fact that I only had to send three chapters for them to know it was tosh. I don’t regret that. Finishing a book is a huge step forward and each one was a huge learning experience.
The only feedback I had was from the editor who read my efforts. I still have the letters – they are very precious to me, even the one that said my efforts were a little “wooden”. Kindly editors pointed me in the direction of writers I should read — Sara Craven, Elizabeth Oldfield — and said they would read my next effort, but there was no solid advice (it wasn't their job to teach me how to write).
I learned by reading, by practice (you learn a lot writing three books). I taught myself to be a writer. I also learned that I wanted it badly enough to keep doing it. There is a word for that. Bloodymindedness?
It’s more than twenty years since I received “the call” on a sunny summer afternoon.
Since then, I’ve published more than sixty books, won awards and had a wonderful career and it's time to pay it forward to a new generation.
I started this year with my involvement in Mills and Boon's New Voices competition and that inspired me to put together some of the stuff I've learned over the years.
Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance is a straightforward, no-nonsense book that helps the new writer to translate the story in her head into the written word.
How to start. How to grab your reader on the first page, tackle conflict, dig deep for emotion. How to give your reader a hero and heroine who had a life before your book begins, who are meant to be together — who don’t just fall in love because you put them together in a book — and who your reader can imagine having a life after they read the last page.
Real people, taking the journey of their lives.
It's nearly there.  Another week. (Fingers firmly crossed!)

Leave a comment telling me why you'd like a copy - I've copies for five lucky readers. The dipping hat will come out next Sunday evening.

44 comments:

katcantrell said...

Hi Liz! I'd love a copy of your book because writing a romance is hard. Writing for Mills&Boon, which is my dream, is even harder! I just finished my third manuscript aimed at RIVA and honestly, I don't know if I'm any closer than I was with my first. Your advice and help via this ebook would be amazing!! Thanks for offering and for writing it in the first place. :)

Alexandra said...

Looking forward to your book coming out. :o)

Caroline said...

I would love a copy - the cover alone is delicious and very clever. Did you come up with the artwork? And I've just had a Kindle for Christmas (lovely DH) so what better to download but a book on writing? Thanks again - Caroline x

Liz Fielding said...

Congratulations on your stick-at-it attitude, Kat. It's vital in this business. And you will have learned so much.

It's not just the writing, it's the right book on the right day on the right desk. When you do make that breakthrough those three books you've finished will be worth gold!

Good luck. :)

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks so much, Alexandra!

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Caroline. The cover was a collaboration between the best beloved and myself. He found a royalty free site, I looked at the pictures and he did all the work. Perfect division of labour. :)

Julia Broadbooks said...

Hi, Liz! I would love a copy of your book because your posts on craft are always so smart. They make me think and they help me see things that were right in front of me all the time. But apparently I need plenty of help spotting the obvious.

Charl McFall said...

Hi, Liz,

I entered the nv comp but didnt place so thought I would write a different story. Except what i want to say doesn't always come out right so the reason I would like your book is so I can get some advice and help on where I am going wrong.

In between uni and the kids i'm still writing and aiming for m and B cherish.

Charl

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Julia!

Liz Fielding said...

Good luck, Charl! Cherish is a lovely series. Babies do well. :)

Jennifer Faye said...

Hi, Liz. First, I must say that I love your books. And I'd love a copy of your romance writing guide. I've had a dream since I was a teenager of writing for Harlequin, M&B in particular. I currently have a submission in with Cherish that I should hear back from any day now. Nudged last week and it is still under consideration. Am polishing my next story to sub as soon as I hear back on the current sub. I could use all the help I can get to achieve my dream so thank you for writing this book. I'm looking for to it!

Kavya Rizwan said...

This is so what I need write now! I've decided to start over with my MS this year and a 'How to write for M&B' book from you - THE Liz Fielding - is exactly what I need. I'm getting a copy the minute it comes out!!

Kavya Rizwan said...

*right. (sorry) :)

Maria from 'gaelikaa's diary' said...

Hi Liz,

I have a plot. I have two lovely characters who were meant to be together. But I've run out of steam at sixteen thousand words. Help!

I would love a copy of your ebook.

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks so much, Jennifer and good luck with your submission. :) So glad that you've got on with next project, absolutely the right thing to do. Fingers crossed for you. Let me know how you get on.

Liz Fielding said...

LOL, Kavya - that's such a Freudian slip, something we all do! I hope the book helps you reach your dream.

Liz Fielding said...

We all get those middle of the book slumps, Maria - honestly - but if you're having problems I suggest you look at your conflict, Maria. Is it enough to carry a book? What is happening between your hero and heroine that is keeping them apart, even while the reader (and you) are desperate for them to be together?

Pile it on. Double it, then make it worse. :)

Michelle Ford said...

I would love this book. How to books are always handy, invaluable really. The way it is written in one could be the 'lightbulb' moment. I still have the handout you sent during NV, which I have reread several times. Either way can't wait to read.

Anita Chapman said...

Hello Liz,
I shall definitely be getting this. I love 'How to' books and it sounds as though you have so much great advice to give.

Amanda said...

Hi Liz
I would Love a copy - I also believe I drastically need a copy! Is it just me or is the first chapter the hardest to write?

Romy said...

Thanks so much for putting your time and energy into this, Liz.

I hope I'm a little past the beginner's basics, but there is always something still to learn, isn't there?

I'm actually just commenting because I love that picture of the little girl with her fingers crossed. So cute!

Aurelia B. Rowl said...

I cannot wait for this book! As a complete newbie with a passion for reading, I am a blank page, willing to learn with no pre-existing bad writing habits that I know of. I would much rather have a guide, the voice of experience, to help me find my way in the writing world. I have the desire, the imagination and the determination to succeed but am not afraid to put in the hard graft to get there.

Suzanne Jones said...

Oooh, how exciting. I adore how-to-write books and I'm really looking forward to reading this one. I'd love to win a copy (but if I don't I'll be buying it in any case).

XX

margie stewart said...

Liz, I've kept all your good advice in one printed folder, now it will all be in one fabulous book!! Fantastic!! Thanks for writing this book-you are so much appreciated! xx ms

Nicola Marsh said...

This is going to be great, Liz.

Let me know as soon as it releases and you can come tout on my blog :)

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Michelle - so agree, a book is worth the money if there's just one sentence that provides a "ye3s!" moment!

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks so much, Anita.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Amanda! The big "where to start" moment :)

The moment of crisis, change, the day the clock strikes thirteen... Go for it!

Liz Fielding said...

Well, past the basics, Romy, but it's true that you never stop learning.

Liz Fielding said...

Aurelia! So not true! You are writing all the time and everything you read colours your world and informs your style. You simply have to harness all that knowledge and let it spill out.

Did I just use the word "simply"...?

Liz Fielding said...

Bless you, Suzanne!

Liz Fielding said...

Margie, that is so lovely! I hope you find lots of new stuff in the book.

Liz Fielding said...

Bless you, Nic. I'll let you know!

Susie Medwell said...

Looking forward to the book Liz. Just had an R back from M&B, a sub I put in before doing my NV entry. I partly expected it (but you always live in naive hope!) - now its whether I rework the entry and sub that, or start again. I'm slowly getting better, but need all the help I can get and I know your book will be cram packed with helpful advice.

Liz Fielding said...

Sorry to hear about the R, Susie. Did you have any useful feedback on your NV entry? That may give you an idea of your best move. Good luck!

Lacey Devlin said...

Wow this is exciting :) Plus I just LOVE the cover. It's so clever!

Thanks, Liz. I'll be buying a copy the second it's released.

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks so much, Lacey. The best beloved will be tickled pink!

AliceAnderson said...

Exciting news, Liz. Can't wait to read it!

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Alice!

Liz Fielding said...

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for your interest in the new book and your enthusiasm. Much appreciated!

The magic hat has made its appearance and the first five names that emerged were -

Suzie
Margie
Maria
Romy
Kat

If you'll email me at liz at lizfielding dot com I'll sort out delivery of your downloads!

We're nearly there - I'll shout from the rooftops when the book is live. :)

margie stewart said...

WOW! I'm so excited- thank you so much for being so generous, Liz.
Happy launch day! I'm sure your 'little book' will have a BIG impact on the market. Congratulations again!
(I've just sent you an email)
xx ms in NZ

Maria from 'gaelikaa's diary' said...

I'm back to check. Am I that Maria? It's such a common name, you see! If it's me, that's fantastic!

Incidentally, I waded through my slump. 23k plus words now and feeling inspired for writing the rest of the 50k. Thanks for the advice. Mx

Maria from 'gaelikaa's diary' said...

I've checked up and down a couple of times and I think it's me all right. Liz, thank you very much. I know the book will be a great help. Thanks for writing it and for sharing your valuable expertise.

Liz Fielding said...

So glad you're through the slump, Maria! You need to email me with your deets.

Thanks for the email, Margie - I'll be in touch later today when I have a better idea of what's happening.